- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 24, 2011
- 0 Comments
- Features, Steve Nicol
This is news we have to say we saw coming a long time ago. The writing was pretty much on the wall last year, if not the year before that, and it most certainly came full circle this season. The New England Revolution announced today that they have mutually parted ways with long-time manager Steve Nicol.
Nicol leaves the Revolution after 10 seasons, a league record for tenure with a single club. He posted a career record of 112-108-81, ranking second in MLS in overall career games coached (301) and fourth in wins.
Nicol took the Revolution to six successive MLS Eastern Conference Championship matches from 2002 through 2007, winning four to advance to MLS Cup four times: 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He also led the team to its first-ever cup championship, the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as well as the SuperLiga 2008 crown to become the only MLS team to win the tournament.
“Robert and I met with Stevie today and we had a productive discussion about this past season and the direction the club needs to go in the future,” said Jonathan Kraft. “We all agreed a change of direction was needed to reverse the trend of the past couple of years. Stevie was a successful head coach and a tremendous ambassador for the Revolution for the past decade and set a high standard for success, leading us to four conference titles in six years. We thank him for all of his contributions.”
The downward trend the Revs had over the last two seasons was the worst in MLS. New England had 60 points in 64 matches between the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
I talked a lot this season about how the Revs were trending in the wrong direction and how Nicol was on the hot seat. After having the worst record in the league, the club did the wise thing to make this change. Mutual or not, it was a move that needed to happen. Over the last three or so seasons, the Revs have in a way been passed up by newcomers in the league. With the owners not willing to spend enough resources on the club, Nicol’s job became more difficult and in a way too much to overcome.
The biggest thing though in this is once Paul Mariner left the Revs, the club went into a decline. I’m not saying he was the sole reason why Nicol and the club did well all of those years, but the partnership between the two was the best in the league.
Who the Revs move on to will be a big question this fall and winter. I would say a move needs to be made quickly with the expansion draft coming up. A couple names pop up like former FC Dallas manager Colin Clark and current LA assistant manager Dave Sarachan.